Victoria opens reverse renewables auction of up to 650 MW

Image of the Summerhill solar farm. Source: The City of Newcastle.

November 15 (Renewables Now) - The Australian state of Victoria on Tuesday opened a reverse tender for the addition of up to 650 MW of large-scale renewable energy capacity that is seen to attract up to AUD 1.3 billion (USD 985m/EUR 834m) in investment.

The formal tender documents were published on Victoria government’s website, inviting companies with an existing planning permission to take part in a competitive bidding process for winning 15-year support agreements with the state, which are seen to ensure revenue certainty. Under these agreements, successful proponents will be paid through a Hybrid payment mechanism, including a combination of a fixed-price payment and a variable contract-for-difference (CfD) payment.

The 650 MW of capacity targeted in the auction will be split into two categories -- one seeking up to 550 MW of large-scale renewable energy projects, including wind, solar and other energy technologies, and another one, of up to 100 MW, for large-scale solar projects. The deadline for submitting proposals is February 14, while developers are required to launch commercial operations of their plants by 2020.

Those projects are expected to create some 1,250 construction jobs over two years plus 90 ongoing jobs, according to the official statement.

The auction, initially unveiled in August, is part of the Victorian government’s efforts to create investment certainty, enhance investment and lower electricity prices. “Renewable energy is key to Victoria’s future and we’re not wasting a minute – to drive new investment, create jobs and cut electricity prices,” said Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio.

Last month, the Legislative Council in Victoria passed the Renewable Energy (Jobs and Investment) Bill 2017 under which the state will aim to reach a 25% renewable energy share by 2020 and 40% by 2025.

(AUD 1.0 = USD0.758/EUR 0.642)

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Veselina Petrova is one of SeeNews Renewables most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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